Dietary facts, fallacies are everywhere

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My wife, Sonia, and I founded, organized and ran the National Health Federation chapter and its yearly conventions when we lived in Hawaii. During those conventions we became acquainted with many of the worlds’ leaders in natural health.

Dr. T’s Humor for Health

A woman sips a glass of wine while dining outdoors with her husband at a Walla Walla restaurant.

“I love you so much,” she said, lifting her glass. “I don’t know how I could ever live without you.”

“Is that you talking, or the wine talking?” her husband asks.

“It’s me,” she says, “talking to the wine.”

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A man storms into a bakery.

“Do you know what happened to me?” he shouts at the baker. “I found a fly in the raisin bread I bought from you yesterday.”

The baker shrugs: “So, you’ll bring me the fly and I’ll give you a raisin.”

Because the NHF strove for equality in all approaches to health, we invited all manner of speakers and systems to our conventions, from the effectual to the absurd. It was eye-opening, to say the least.

At each convention we had both speakers as well as displayers. Displayers would be in a separate hall. Although we had considerable say in selecting speakers, we had less influence in choosing displayers. I recall one displayer who was selling an “herb pillow” which was purported to contain very specific herbs and if you put a piece of food on it, that food would never rot. And if you sat on it … well?

Some of our well known speakers were Adele Davis, Paul Bragg, Betty Lee Morales and Bob Hoffman. Davis’ many books helped lead people into more healthful lifestyles. Bragg’s books did the same. Morales was a prime factor in nutritionally guiding Olympians to medals, and Hoffman advocated body-building with his lectures and nutritional products.

They didn’t agree on all aspects of achieving health through nutrition. But what they did agree on was pretty obvious: quality food, no chemicals, organically grown, staying away from denatured overprocessed food, and so on.

On the other hand, some of the displayers who were allowed to present their thoughts and products were another story.

For example, a man by the name of Horace Fletcher claims to have cured himself of illness by chewing each bite of food up to 100 times. The intent was to break the food up into smaller particles to more easily withdraw nutrients, a practice that became known as “fletcherizing.” Any value? I’m sure does, but is it necessary?

Let’s name a few others. Arnold Ehret’s book “Mucusless Diet Healing System” claimed that alkaline foods, such as green leaves, grapes and other fruits, should form the natural diet of humans. All other foods caused mucus and led to disease.

The Paleolithic diet, based on the presumed diet of our ancient hunter-gatherer forebears, assumes meat should be our prime food source.

We now have diets — not necessarily the weight-loss kind but as lifestyles — that are no-meat vegetarianism; no meat, milk and eggs ‘lacto-ovo vegetarianism; and “fruitarianism,” nothing but fruit. We have the blood type diet, the macrobiotic diet, food combining diets” as well as the Mediterranean diet. We have best-selling books: “The South Beach Diet,” “The Zone Diet,” “The Atkins Diet,” “The Fit for Life Diet,” and on and on. I will not purport to evaluate their effectiveness, though I presume there is some value in each.

But as I have taught and written, just as each of us has a different face, we each have different genetics and different digestive tracts. It has been shown that even twins may react differently to the same foods.

Hence, your diet should fit you. We humans are what are called “omnivores,” beings normally capable of digesting a large variety of food of both plant and animal origin. It’s even noted in another book, the New International Version Bible, in which in Genesis 9:3 the Lord says: “Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.”

This in no way means, of course, that we must eat everything. But if you want to try a specialized diet, the main criterion should be, “How does this make me feel?”

Perhaps with our increasing knowledge of chemicals and hormones in our food and the possible presence of prions in our meat, we may decide to omit a food group from our diets. Once again, with knowledge the decision is yours.

Retired chiropractic doctor Francis Trapani’s background includes 41 years of practice plus teaching physiology, anatomy and nutrition at the college level. Now living in Walla Walla, he has written three books and is working on a yoga self-help manual. For more information, go to drftrapani.com.

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